purpose

[ pur-puhs ]
/ ˈpɜr pəs /

noun

verb (used with object), pur·posed, pur·pos·ing.

verb (used without object), pur·posed, pur·pos·ing.

to have a purpose.

Idioms

    on purpose, by design; intentionally: How could you do such a thing on purpose?
    to the purpose, relevant; to the point: Her objections were not to the purpose.

Origin of purpose

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English purpos < Old French, derivative of purposer, variant of proposer to propose; (v.) Middle English purposen < Anglo-French, Old French purposer

SYNONYMS FOR purpose

7 mean, contemplate, plan.

Related forms

pre·pur·pose, verb (used with object), pre·pur·posed, pre·pur·pos·ing.re·pur·pose, verb (used with object), re·pur·posed, re·pur·pos·ing.un·pur·posed, adjectiveun·pur·pos·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for on purpose

purpose

/ (ˈpɜːpəs) /

noun

verb (tr)

to intend or determine to do (something)

Word Origin for purpose

C13: from Old French porpos, from porposer to plan, from Latin prōpōnere to propose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with on purpose (1 of 2)

on purpose


1

Deliberately, intentionally, as in He left the photo out of the story on purpose. Shakespeare's use of this idiom was among the earliest; it appears in The Comedy of Errors (4:3): “On purpose shut the doors against his way.”

2

accidentally on purpose. Seemingly accidentally but actually deliberately, as in She stepped on his foot accidentally on purpose. This generally jocular phrase was first recorded in 1862.

Idioms and Phrases with on purpose (2 of 2)

purpose


see at cross purposes; for all intents and purposes; on purpose; serve a purpose; to good purpose; to little or no purpose.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.